Weekly rankings

Where does your team stand? Updating the 12 Texas FBS college football teams after the final regular season games

TCU stands alone as the best in the state. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Texas has 12 FBS teams. Each week we ranked them based on season-long performance, the prior game, and success relative to their level. These are the rankings after the final regular season games.  Eight of the 12 are bowl eligible, but the bottom four combined to go 4-44, averaging one measley win per team. We will do one more update after the bowl season.

No. 12: UTEP (0-12)

The Miners completed a winless season with a 28-7 loss to a UAB team that did not exist a couple years ago. It was a brutal year start to finish, including a coaching change midseason. Serious overhaul time.

No. 11: Rice (1-11)

The Owls dismal season came to a fitting end with a 30-14 home loss to a solid North Texas team. David Bailiff has done a nice job with the team in the past, but two awful seasons probably means the end of his tenure. 

No. 10: Texas State (2-10)

The Bobcats, like the teams below them, were terrible this year, going just 2-10. All three should be relegated to FCS.

No. 9: Baylor (1-11)

The Bears showed a little life against TCU, but ultimately dropped a 45-22 decision. The Bears, too, should be relegated. That's something soccer gets right. The real question is can this team be anything other than Kansas (the only win this season) without cutting corners and allowing one of the most disturbing scandals in college football history? The future looks uncertain.

No. 8: UTSA (6-5)

What started out as a promising season went to hell over the second half. A 6-5 mark has to be considered a disappointment for a program that looked to be on the rise.

No. 7: SMU (7-5)

The Ponies finished off a 7-5 season with a 41-38 shootout win over improving Tulane. The bigger question is will Chad Morris continue to be the coach? He did about as well as could be expected at a school like SMU, and there are lots of big jobs available.

No. 6: Texas (6-6)

Tom Herman's first season has to be considered a disappointment. A one-game improvement over Charlie Strong's last season was not what was expected of Herman. Seasons like 5-7 and 6-6 were rarities at Texas for decades. Is the program simply not what it was? Herman should make a big jump in year two, but there was not much different about the Longhorns in 2017, and they should never be lower than third on this list.

No. 5: Texas Tech (6-6)

Kliff Kingsbury saved his job and got the Raiders bowl eligible by upsetting Texas. It was a weird, up and down year for Tech, which got wins over Arizona State, Houston and Texas but also featured several poor performances against better teams.

No. 4: Houston (7-4)

This season screamed Tony Levine. Waiting too long to change quarterbacks, dropping close games to Tech and Memphis and puzzling tail whippings by Tulsa and Tulane. That simply is not good enough for Major Applewhite, and things must improve. Houston has every advantage in the AAC and seven wins won't cut it. They did close out with a good victory against Navy 24-14 and D'Eriq King looks like the next big thing at QB but like Texas, more is expected.

No. 3: Texas A&M (7-5)

The Aggies were pummeled by LSU again, 45-21 this time. Talent wise, they are every bit as good as LSU. Buth they made silly mistakes, turned the ball over and the Kevin Sumlin era likely ended with another loss to the Tigers. 

No. 2: North Texas (9-3)

It seems high, sure. And could they beat many of the teams behind them? Probably not (after all, they did lose to SMU.) But the Mean Green won their division of C-USA and get to play Florida Atlantic for the conference championship. FAU stomped them the first time around but they are one of just two Texas teams who will be playing for something next week. A strong season for Seth Littrell, who will get some interest from bigger schools as well.

No. 1: TCU (10-2)

The Frogs get another shot at Oklahoma in the contrived Big 12 Championship game. It might only serve to knock the Big 12 out of the playoffs if TCU can win (and they can). A two-loss TCU probably has no shot at the top four, considering they would have to, um, leap frog (see what I did there?) a 1-loss Alabama, a 1-loss Clemson or Miami, a Big 10 champ and an SEC champ. That Iowa State loss looms big. Still, another excellent season from Gary Patterson and his crew. 

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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